Off to China. What to see in a very brief trip?

My new-ish job entails management of a development team in Qingdao, China, and I’m on my way in January to visit them. I have a day in Beijing (January 11-12), and then a week in Qingdao. Eventually, I’m back to visiting Tokyo, but I’ll create a separate thread for that.

So, my question to people who know: what are a couple of must-see things in Beijing? I have an evening and most of the following day before my flight to Qingdao, and I’d like to hit a couple of the most worthwhile tourist-y type attractions. I’ll be on my own, and speak not a word of [any] Chinese.

And, while I’m at it, if I have some free time in Qingdao, are there things I should see there? I’ll have people with me there who will undoubtedly have their own ideas, but I wouldn’t mind having some ideas of my own.

I lived there for two years.

I’d go to the** Temple of Heaven**. It’s lovely. I even got engaged there.

I guess if you don’t mind crowds, head to the **Badaling Great Wall **section. It’s great, but it is very popular and there are better sections of the wall. However, if time is tight, do this.

Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Seriously, you can’t see Beijing and not see this.

That’s it. There is a ton more, but for two days, that’s it.

Oh, see the Qingdao breweries. I mean, come on! :slight_smile:

I should add that if you have a hotel, tell them in English what you want and they should be able to help you get to where you need to go.

Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen are very easy to get to and take little time by cab. The wall takes some time to get to.

Yes, I supose I should have mentioned that in my OP. :slight_smile: It’s a running joke between my boss and me that I’m really just going over to see if the beer is really better than the Tsing Tao beer you can get here.

-Go to the Military Museum, avoid the National Museum next to Tiananmen Square (there really isn’t any interesting there IMHO).

-See if they’re giving tours of the Great Hall of the People while you’re there. It’s pretty cool.

-Great Wall is always a good choice

-The Xinhua Bookstore on Wangfujing has alot of good English-language books on the top floor

-See if you can get a tour of the Beijing hutongs, they’re pretty cool too.

-Pay a visit to Cow Street (niu jie). It’s got a really old Mosque and alot of Chinese Muslims live in that area of Beijing. You can find some good food and interesting souvenirs there.

-It’s rather hard to get a taxi (or get one to stop) on most of the streets around Tiananmen

-You’ll probably have to check any purses, handbags, or backpacks you’ll be carrying with you before entering a museum, Mao’s tomb, or thing like that. That means coughing up some money to put it in a locker. It’s a good way for them to screw tourists out of a few bucks.

-You will be treated as a walking ATM in Tiananmen Square. You will get approached by person after person trying to sell you stupid trinkets. Prepare yourself now, it can get REALLY annoying.

-If you’re a man, make sure you tell the front desk at your hotel that you don’t want any calls after a certain time (i.e. before you go to sleep), or you’ll be getting calls from prostitutes offering massages in the middle of the night.

Have a good trip!

Some Chinese briefs.

The main kind isn’t, but Qingdao dark beer is pretty good and hard to find outside China.

It’s also really cheap for a big bottle.